How to ensure winter road trip safety
Winter road trip safety may seem like an obvious issue. However, hundreds of drivers every year will take off for home during the holidays and not make it home at all.
Thurston County Transmission wants to help you avoid this problem. Read on for road trip safety ideas.
What are the basics of winter road trip safety?
Start by making sure you trust your vehicle. A small or midsize sedan with great gas mileage is the ideal summer road trip vehicle. However, a large vehicle with snow tires, or at least studded tires, are better for driving long miles over ice and snow.
If you are sure that your truck, SUV, car or other vehicle can make the trip, the next step is emergency planning.
What sort of emergency planning matters for winter road trip safety?
Any vehicle emergency kit should include the following:
- Battery-powered radio
- Battery-powered flashlight
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Bottled fresh water
- Basic food rations
- Pocket knife or Swiss Army knife
- Thermal blanket
These are all materials that should fit neatly into the trunk of any vehicle. Be sure to check your kit before you head out.
What else should I know about winter road trip safety?
Plan your route
In the modern age, GPS navigation systems are everywhere. They can fail, however. Make sure you have a backup option or two in case your main route is closed for repairs or maintenance. Plan for highways and major roads, but be sure to look at back roads or alternate routes on the map before you leave.
Know your passengers
If you are going to travel with kids, make sure they have a book, some homework, a portable game console or something else to keep them busy. A distracting passenger can cause you as the driver to look away from the road or lose focus. You really do not want that to happen when driving on icy roads.
Keep energized and hydrated
Ask any long haul trucker and they will tell you that road fatigue is very scary. Make sure you have some snacks, some fresh water and perhaps some coffee or energy drinks that will keep your eyes open and your mind alert.